261018 ABG By-Election Count Ends

THE counting of ballots for the 2018 ABG By-Elections has been completed.

According to Returning Officer, Ian Job, counting started on Monday this week and ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning with the declaration of the member-elect for Halia constituency in Buka, North Bougainville.

“I am pleased to announce that we have successfully conducted and completed counting of ballots at the Hutjena secondary school hall,” said Mr Job.

Halia constituency is one of the three constituencies that took part in these by-elections.

The others are Taonita Teop constituency in Tinputz district and Kongara constituency in the Kieta district of Central Bougainville.   

The Halia constituency seat was won by candidate Gordon Batek.

Mr Batek was declared after the fifteenth exclusive, beating sixteen other candidates that also took part in the election.

In the race for the Taonita Teop constituency seat, renown PNG film producer Albert Toro was declared member-elect ahead of five other candidates that also contested.    

The Kongara constituency seat was won by Steven Topesi.

Meanwhile, RO Ian Job has commended all candidates and their scrutineers as well as the general public for ensuring that no troubles occurred that could have affected the count.

He said this shows that people are slowly beginning to trust our electoral processes, before adding that this should also be maintained in any other electoral event that will be held in Bougainville in the near future.

151018 Polling commences in the ABG By-Elections

POLLING for the 2018 ABG By-Elections commenced yesterday in the Halia, Taonita Teop and Kongara constituencies in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

According to Returning Officer Ian Job, polling had commenced as scheduled without any major issues being encountered.

Polling started yesterday in these three constituencies and that I am pleased to announce that there were no major issues encountered which could have affected the start of polling”, said Mr Job.

The only complain received from some voters in Halia was that there were some voters who could not locate their names on the electoral roll. Apart from that, there were no other complains received,” added Mr Job.

Mr Job said polling will continue today and he is positive that there will not be any problems encountered again.

According to the polling schedule, Team 1 for Halia constituency is currently conducting polling at Kotopan elementary school while Team 2 is at Banis primary school.

In the Taonita Teop constituency, Team 3 is at Kekesu, Team 4-Tahiva, Team 5-Torosure, Team 6-Kaskurus, Team 7-Rhema, Team 8-Hoakop and Team 9 is at Mara.

In the Kongara constituency, Team 10 is currently conducting polling at Sipuru, Team 11 is at Kuritawe, Team 12-Puangta, Team 13-Damaosi, Team 14-Dianari and Team 15 is at Daaru.

All polling activities in these three constituencies will end this Friday while counting commences on Monday next week.

Candidates Order of Draw for the 2018 ABG By-Elections

THE three-days nominations period for the 2018 ABG By-Election, which opened on Monday this week, ended this afternoon with a total of 26 candidates contesting for the respective vacant constituency seats of Halia, Taonita Teop and Kongara in the Bougainville House of Representatives.

As of this afternoon, Halia constituency recorded the highest number of candidates with 17 contestants vying for their vacant constituency seat, followed by Taonita Teop with six while Kongara constituency recorded only three contestants.

Following the closure of the nomination period, the order of draw for the candidates was then conducted at the Bel Isi Park in Buka town, witnessed by the candidates, their supporters and the public.

The purpose of the draw is to determine the appearances of the respective candidates on the ballot paper for each constituency seat elections.

Below is the list of candidates for the respective constituency seats with their candidate numbers which they were awarded during the draw;

Halia Constituency

10. Bordger Semoso

11. Christopher Kabobo

12. Robert Somi Habitein

13. Ephraim Hakelo

14. Osmond Pesa Tohiana

15. Garhey Rikaha

16. Alphonse Ratsi

17. Desmond Nilkare

18. Barnabas Matanu

19. Barbara Tanne

20. Gordon Batek

21. Leo Soli

22. Mech Robin

23. Gerard Lesi

24. Joel Korus

25. Chan Kurangik Sagolo

26. William Kaluwin

Taonita Teop Constituency

10. Jarvin Tagasi

11. Leslie Sorou

12. Naphtali Pango

13. Micah Mose

14. Albert Toro

15. Joseph Pais

Kongara Constituency

10. Danny Muntaa

11. Rauaku Karoai

12. Steven Topesi

Twenty six candidates nominate in the 2018 ABG By-Elections

NOMINATIONS for the 2018 ABG By-Elections ended this afternoon (Wednesday 260918) with a total of 26 candidates having nominated to contest the respective vacant constituency seats of Halia, Taonita Teop and Kongara seats in the Bougainville House of Representatives.

From this total, Halia constituency in Buka district has the highest with 17 candidates having nominated, followed by Taonita Teop in the Tinputz district with six while Kongara constituency in the Kieta district of Central Bougainville has the lowest with three candidates contesting.

The candidates for the Halia constituency seat are Bordger Semoso, Chan Kurangik Sagolo, Christopher Kabobo, Garhey Rikaha, Barbara Tanne, Gordon Batek, Leo Soli, William Kaluwin, Gerard Lesi, Ephraim Hakelo, Desmond Nilkare, Alphonse Ratsi, Mech Robin, Barnabas Matanu, Osmond Pesa Tohiana, Joel Korus and Robert Somi Habitein.

For the Taonita Teop constituency seat, the confirm list of candidates include Joseph Pais, Albert Toro, Micah Mose, Naphtali Pango, Leslie Sorou and Jarvin Tagasi.

The three candidates for the Kongara constituency seat are Steven Topesi, Rauaku Karoai and Danny Muntaa.

Meanwhile, the order of draw for the candidates will be held shortly this afternoon at the Bel Isi Park in Buka town.

The order of draw will determine the appearances of the respective candidates on the ballot paper for each constituency seat elections.

Nominations open for ABG By-elections

NOMINATIONS for the 2018 ABG By-Elections will commence tomorrow (Monday 230918).

This follows the issue of writs for the by-elections by the Speaker of the Bougainville House of Representatives, Mr Simon Pentanu on Friday afternoon.

Constituencies that will be having their elections include Halia and Taonita Teop constituencies in North Bougainville and Kongara constituency in the Kieta district of Central Bougainville.

According to the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner Mr George Manu, nominations will take place from the 24-26 of September 2018.

“During the first two days, 24th and 25th September, AROs will be accepting nominations in their respective districts. For Halia constituency, nominations will take place at the OBEC office in Buka. Nominations for Taonita Teop will take place at Tinputz district office while the ARO for Kongara will be accepting nominations at the OBEC Central Regional Coordination Office in Arawa,” said Mr Manu.

“Then on the final day, 26th September, nominations will take place at the OBEC Head Office in Buka. This means that candidates that have yet to nominate for the seats of Taonita Teop and Kongara will now have to travel to Buka to lodge their nominations for candidacy.   

The Bougainville Electoral Commissioner further added that intending candidates will have to pay a nomination fee of K500 when lodging their nominations for candidacy.

The Taonita Teop constituency seat had become vacant following the demise of member, late Raopos Apou Tepaia in 2016, whilst the members for the other two seats had resigned early last year to contest the 2017 National Elections. 

Manu announces ABG By-Election officials

BOUGAINVILLE Electoral Commissioner Mr George Manu has officially announced the Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officers for the upcoming by-elections for three vacant constituency seats of Halia, Taonita Teop and Kongara in the Bougainville House of Representatives.

The RO is Mr Ian Job and AROs are Lawrence Sabin (Halia), Rodney Rasin (Taonita Teop) and Denise Palipal (Kongara). 

While making the announcement on Friday last week, Mr Manu said these officials have wide range of election experiences thus will enable them to effectively perform their respective roles and responsibilities. 

“These election officials have a wealth of experiences in the field of elections and I am positive that they will be able to use their experiences to deliver free, fair, safe, democratic and inclusive by-elections,” said Mr Manu.

Mr Job who is also the manager in-charge of election operations at the Office of Bougainville Electoral Commissioner (OBEC), is no newcomer to the roles and responsibilities of this position as he has also been appointed to perform similar duties in past elections held in Bougainville.

ABG By-Elections to be held shortly

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THE Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner (OBEC) is set and ready to conduct the by-elections for three vacant constituency seats in the Bougainville House of Representatives.

This assurance was given by the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner Mr George Manu last week when giving updates on the preparations already undertaken towards the conduct of these elections.

The constituencies that will be having their by-elections are Halia and Taonita Teop in North Bougainville and Kongara in Central Bougainville.

“I am pleased to announce today, that the dates for the 2018 ABG By-Elections have already been finalized and that the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner (OBEC) is now set and ready to conduct these elections,” Mr Manu said.

According to Mr Manu, election writs will be issued by the Speaker of the Bougainville House of Representatives on Friday 21st September, while nominations will take place from 24-26 September. Polling will be from 15-19 of October and counting is scheduled for 22-26 October. The return of writs will take place on 29th October 2018.

“As you can see from this schedule, we have about five weeks to conduct and complete these elections.

“Despite the short time we have to facilitate all these different electoral activities, I am positive and can assure the people of these three constituencies that will be having their by-elections, including the Bougainville Executive Council and ABG, that OBEC is prepared and ready to conduct and complete the election within this scheduled timeframe,” said Mr Manu.

The announcement of the election dates also came as an early independence gift to the people in these three constituency as they have been without a representative in the ABG Parliament for more than a year.

About a month ago saw the chiefs of Taonita Teop petitioning ABG to source funding to facilitate their by-election as soon as possible.

They had further warned that failure by the government to conduct the election will result in them not taking part in the referendum to decide Bougainville’s future political status.  

The Taonita Teop constituency seat had become vacant following the demise of member, late Raopos Apou Tepaia in 2016, whilst the members for the other two seats had resigned early last year to contest the 2017 National Elections. 

B’ville E/Commissioner announces ABG By-Election dates

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BOUGAINVILLE Electoral Commissioner Mr George Manu has officially announced the dates for the 2018 ABG By-Elections.

The announcement which was done recently and witnessed by the ABG Deputy Chief Secretary (Strategic Policy) Mr Thomas Raivet and representatives from media, now puts to rest doubts people had regarding the conduct of by-elections for the three vacant seats in the Bougainville House of Representatives.

These vacant constituency seats include Halia in the Buka district, Taonita Teop in Tinputz and Kongara in the Kieta district of Central Bougainville.

“I am pleased to announce today, that the dates for the 2018 ABG By-Elections have already been finalized and that the Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner (OBEC) is now set and ready to conduct these elections,” Mr Manu said.

According to Mr Manu, election writs will be issued by the Speaker of the ABG House of Representatives on Friday 21st September, while nominations will take place from 24-26 September. Polling will be from 15-19 of October and counting is scheduled for 22-26 October. The return of writs will take place on 29th October 2018.

“As you can see from this schedule, we have about five weeks to conduct and complete these elections.

“Despite the short time we have to facilitate all these different electoral activities, I am positive and can assure the people of these three constituencies that will be having their by-elections, including the Bougainville Executive Council and ABG, that OBEC is prepared and ready to conduct and complete the election within this scheduled timeframe,” said Mr Manu.

The announcement of the election dates also came as an early independence gift to the people in these three constituency as they have been without a representative in the ABG Parliament for more than a year.

Deputy chief secretary Mr Raivet commended the Electoral Commissioner for officially announcing the dates for the elections.

He said despite the financial constraints faced by ABG, it was very important that funding be allocated to such electoral activities.

“People need to have their representatives in parliament so that they can have a voice.

“This is very good, this is an achievement where all Bougainvilleans feel that they have a voice in their parliament and that they are being represented just like the others.

He added that the conduct of the by-elections is another milestone achievement towards updating the voter roll that will be used during the referendum to decide Bougainville’s future political status.

“This is one thing out of the way but is an achievement and we can move on from there; the updating of the referendum roll and trialing it, rehearsing it, getting it fully updated and we prepare for next year,” Mr Raivet said. 

The Taonita Teop constituency seat had become vacant following the demise of member, late Raopos Apou Tepaia in 2016, whilst the members for the other two seats had resigned early last year to contest the 2017 National Elections. 

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Update on 2018 ABG By-Elections

THE Office of the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner (OBEC) is now doing final preparatory works in preparation for the conduct of by-elections for three vacant constituency seats in the Bougainville House of Representatives.

This assurance was given recently by the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner Mr George Manu to dispel doubts that people in these respective constituencies are having over the prolonged delay in conducting these by-elections.

“I want to assure the people in these three constituencies of Halia, Taonita Teop and Kongara that we are now doing final preparations before we can conduct the by-elections,” Mr Manu said.

The Taonita Teop constituency seat had been vacant since 2016 following the demise of their member, late Raopos Apou Tepaia.
As for the Halia and Kongara constituency seats, vacancy exists following the resignation of their respective elected members early last year to contest the 2017 National General Elections.

While delivering this assurance, Commissioner Manu also clarified that funding availability has been the main reason behind the delay in conducting the elections.

Early last month the chiefs of Taonita Teop had petitioned the ABG to quickly make funds available for the by-elections.

However, Mr Manu when speaking to reporters recently regarding the chiefs petition, said though he understands their frustration he cannot do much as everything depends on funding.

Mr Manu said even though OBEC is the custodian of people’s democratic rights to cast their votes, his office still relies on the government to allocate funding to conduct elections.

He added that OBEC had made a number of submissions to ABG over the past months for the release of funds to facilitate these elections, but nothing positive have been achieved until recently when the Bougainville Executive Council approved the release of funds for the elections.
The allocation of funds has now enabled OBEC do final preparations before conducting the elections.

The election dates for the by-elections will shortly be announced by Commissioner Manu however it is anticipated that elections will be held between September and October this year.

Roll Update for ABG By-Elections progressing

WORK on updating the electoral roll for the three vacant constituency seats in the Bougainville House of Representative is progressing.
According to the Bougainville Electoral Commissioner George Manu, enrolment agents have been tasked to make sure that they visit and enrol all eligible voters in the villages and wards assemblies in these three constituencies.

These constituencies include Halia in Buka and Taonita Teop in Tinputs districts of North Bougainville and Kongara in the Kieta district of Central Bougainville.

“Work on updating the roll is progressing and I want to appeal to all eligible voters in these constituencies to ensure that your name is enrolled so that you will be able to exercise your democratic right in voting for the candidates of your choice during the election,” said Mr Manu.

“If your name is not on the roll, then you will not be eligible to vote. That is why it is important that all voters should ensure that their names are on the roll to avoid inconvenience during polling.”

Mr Manu also called on the enrolment agents to make sure that the names of the voters are spelt correctly and that all eligible voters are enrolled.

Following the completion of the roll update exercise in these constituencies, all field work will then be brought back to OBEC office in Buka for data entry.

The certified roll that will be used during the by-elections will be in place before the election day.

The Bougainville Electoral Commissioner is yet to announce the dates for the by-election however it is anticipated that it will take place between September and October this year.